Tag Archives: Dani Kind

Dani Kind sounds off on her memorable Wynonna Earp and Workin’ Moms roles

Just how tight were lips on the set of Wynonna Earp during Melanie Scrofano’s pregnancy? So tight that Dani Kind read fake scripts when she was auditioning for the role of Mercedes Gardner.

“They wrote these fake sides for Mercedes … she was even named something else,” Kind tells us on the line from Toronto. “She was this character who owned a bar with her brother and her brother was this big sleaze. She ended up handing her brother his own ass.” And while we’d love to have seen that project come to light, we’re loving Kind’s real role on Wynonna, that of Mercedes Gardner. A fellow former bad girl of Purgatory, Mercedes has evolved from real estate baron to flesh-eating monster after being possessed. Now Mercedes and Beth (Meghan Heffern) have captured two of three seals, meaning the future of the world is in jeopardy.

We spoke to Kind about Wynonna Earp, the role of Anne, the wonderfully caustic, heartbreaking character she plays on CBC’s Workin’ Moms and … playing Tori Spelling’s stand-in!?

We were delayed a bit in our chat because you were going through some wig fittings. I guess that’s for Season 2 of Workin’ Moms?
Dani Kind: Yes! It’s crazy. It feels like it’s come around so fast. I got two months off working on Workin’ Moms and then I booked the Wynonna job. And then I got two months off from Wynonna and I get to go back to Workin’ Moms.

I couldn’t let our chat go by without asking you about a credit on your IMDB page. It says you were a stand-in for Tori Spelling in Mind Over Murder?
[Laughs.] I was. I grew up in Ottawa and there is a production company there that just pumps out movies of the week. That’s kind of where I started. I got some parts and some lead roles. I was kicking around in Ottawa doing jobs and one of them was to be her stand-in for two movies. She asked me to come back for the second movie that she ended up coming and doing. She’s amazing. She was the coolest chick and has the greatest sense of humour. I know she has a whole celebrity image and stuff, but I was like, ‘I could hang with her.’ She has the exact same potty humour as me.

How did you score the role of Anne on Workin’ Moms?
I did a self-tape audition and then got a call that [creator and showrunner] Catherine [Reitman] had gone back to L.A. after doing some casting in Toronto. They asked me to do a callback Skype session with them in L.A., so I did another audition with them over Skype. Then, I flew out to L.A. to do a chemistry read. There were a bunch of women all reading for several parts. Then they called a few weeks later and said I’d gotten the part.

Did Workin’ Moms open the door for you to play Mercedes on Wynonna Earp or did you still have to audition?
I still auditioned. I went in to see casting, but the sides were totally different because everything was so locked down about Melanie [Scrofano] being pregnant. They wrote these fake sides for Mercedes … she was even named something else. She was this character who owned a bar with her brother and her brother was this big sleaze. She ended up handing her brother his own ass. I reamed him out during one scene and I felt great about the audition. The sides they wrote were so great. I got a call later saying I’d gotten the part, but I had no idea I’d be on as much as I’ve been on. I thought I’d only be on a couple of episodes.

It’s so awesome that you auditioned using fake sides.
I know! I got the [real] script and I was like, ‘Whoa, whoa, what’s happening?’ Also, for the longest time, Mel didn’t look pregnant. She’s one of those women who turn around and you’d like, ‘Wait, what?! You’re pregnant?!’ She was so stunning and her body is so petite. I actually had people on-set talk to me and some of them thought she was wearing a fake belly.

How ironic is it you’re on two shows featuring pregnant women?
I know! And, when I got pregnant, I was asked what I was going to do. Everyone is so scared they’re going to lose their jobs and careers. It’s so not the case.

Before Mercedes was possessed, I really liked her attitude and not caring what people thought of her.
You don’t see men apologizing for chicks that they’ve slept with. There is so much about male characters on TV that women have had to identify with for so long and now it’s being shown that, ‘No, we’re three-dimensional human beings who also sleep around and get drunk and have fun and it’s cool.’ It’s so refreshing and so great.

Is it a bit of a challenge to play a character enrobed in black with your face obscured? You have to use body language instead of your face.
I had a lot of questions for Emily as we were shooting and she was like, ‘I don’t know, I don’t know!’ I think that, per episode, I was finding her. We all were. As wardrobe was, as hair and makeup was. Thank God for my acting coaches because they really helped me. This is super-specific work and when you’re working in sci-fi, you have to ask questions and just try stuff out.

Is it important to have answers to questions when you’re playing a role?
I do, especially for a character who is as complicated as this one. And, especially because I thought I was playing Mercedes and would be playing Mercedes all season. And then I find out I’m a different character. I grilled Emily as much as I could, and that really helped. Workin’ Moms is a little bit different because I don’t have to but up Catherine’s ass about Anne because there is so much about Anne that I understand and love. And because Catherine has been so smart about the way she writes it, I can see all of the characters in her. And then it’s just about getting really personal with myself and asking the tough questions.

Let’s close out talking a bit about Workin’ Moms. Anne is such a wonderful, galvanizing character. She made a tough decision to have an abortion last season.
You do see abortion storylines on TV, but it’s a woman who is hard done by or finds herself in this situation. They’re never portrayed as anything positive, it’s always associated with some negative thing. What I didn’t know is that one of the top percentages of women who get abortions are married women with children. I didn’t know that. Catherine was so graceful about the storyline at the beginning of the season. She asked me about it and wanted to check in and see if I could represent it. I said, ‘Absolutely.’ The way she wrote it was so beautiful but also, ‘Yes, of course, this is a decision that [Anne and Lionel] would make together as a couple.’ It just made sense and I felt really proud to tell that storyline.

Did you feel like, when you were in production on Season 1, you had something special?
There were moments when a camera woman or someone in the props department would be emotional during a scene. There was stuff happening that, especially for a comedy, that felt really grounded. Everything felt so real and Catherine was so specific in her choices about cast and crew … it really starts from the top and trickles down. I want to do everything I can to make this dream of her what she wants it to be.

You were incredibly active on social media during Season 1 of Workin’ Moms.
I just think it’s cool if somebody tweets about the show. Some people ask me stuff … why wouldn’t I respond? People are being incredibly kind and are genuinely invested in it. We put a lot of work into the show—Workin’ Moms and Wynonna Earp—and I feel like that interaction makes a lot of sense.

Wynonna Earp airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on Space.

Season 2 of Workin’ Moms is in production now. Season 1 is being rebroadcast on Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. on CBC.

Workin’ Moms images courtesy of CBC.

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Wynonna Earp: Alexandra Zarowny on “Shed Your Skin” and previews future cheerleading

Gulp! Clearly, there is something very wrong with Waverly Earp. That final scene of her chomping down on a dead spider—the crunch took the shot to all-new levels of barf—put the capper on one heck of a ride.

“Shed Your Skin” had everything we love in an episode of Wynonna Earp: sexiness, snarkiness, action and character development thanks to Jeremy and his inverted nipple confession. Oh, and we were given the gift of a wonderful guest star in Workin’ Moms‘ Dani Kind in the role of real estate agent Mercedes.

We spoke to Friday’s episode writer—and Writers Guild of Canada award winner—Alexandra Zarowny about everything that happened.

First of all, congratulations on your Writers Guild of Canada Award for the Season 1 episode “Bury Me With My Guns On.”
Alexandra Zarowny: Thank you very much. It was very exciting for the show to be recognized.

You did make a point of mentioning the show, the team and the fans during your acceptance speech. Is it important for you as a writer, to be recognized like that?
I’ll never say no to an award. It was very, very exciting to be recognized but you always feel like a little bit of an imposter going up there alone. A lot of my words do end up on the screen, which is great because I’m not super story edited and that’s a function of being able to get to Emily’s brain. But when we’re breaking the story, that’s all of us. It’s not like I walked away going, ‘I’m writing this entire episode on my own and I’ve come up with this story that’s a part of this arc.’ We all do that and that’s the heavy, heavy lifting. Once you’re writing the outline and the script, that’s kind of the gravy. It’s great and wonderful, but I’m not arrogant enough to say I did it alone! [Laughs.]

You mentioned getting into Emily’s head. Was it fairly easy to get in there … and what the heck is going on in there?!
It’s a pretty amazing, colourful carnival. Her and I have some very similar sensibilities when it comes to creating interesting characters that you then put through the wringer. I think that we have a very similar sense of humour in a lot of ways. I don’t think it was that difficult to get into her head for me, although it’s always a fast and furious ride. If you are a fan of genre, as a writer you get where she’s coming from.

Lucado is now in charge of our team after Dolls went into hiding. Can you discuss, from a writing standpoint, the fun of having conflict in the room via Lucado?
It’s really great because I think, in the first season, there was definitely a struggle to find a kind of balance in the team and just when they find it, we as writers blow that up. [Laughs.] And then we pull in the one person to hate, who is Lucado. Despite the struggles that the team had with Dolls, they knew that his intentions were the same intentions as theirs to a large degree. Lucado’s intentions are incredibly murky and questionable and suspicious and I think the team is very wary of her. And to be wary of your leader does not make for a very loyal team. That means they’re going to come up against a lot of bumps along the way.

Last week, we got our first peek at the lab and the monsters in it. Coupling the monster eating Doc’s hat and Eliza’s mention of what ‘they’ did to she and Dolls, I wonder if the monsters were once humans that were experimented on. Am I on the right track?
You’re on the right track by half. [Laughs.] There has definitely been experimentation on humans, I would say. How far that goes and what the end result is is to be answered.

I really like the Revenants, but I’m enjoying the different monsters we’re seeing, like the spiders this week.
It’s really great because there are so many crazy demons and mythological creatures to pull from. It’s actually very exciting for us to work on a genre show where the creature of the week doesn’t look like a human because that’s a Revenant. We get to come up with things that are truly monstrous looking and that’s always exciting. This season we’re going to see a bit more tension and a bit more horror because we’re able to show monsters in their true, grotesque form. The Revenants are still there, but when the wall came down it let some shit in that is scary as hell. Emily created a world and we’re all able to put our own spin on that world to a certain degree and I think that makes you, as a writer, even more invested in the series itself.

I loved how you put Doc and Wynonna in the shower together, but it was anything but a romantic encounter.
In the room, we go back and forth between what coupling we prefer at any given moment because we love both actors in Shamier and Tim. But I think, like everything else in this world of Wynonna Earp, it’s always going to be complicated and the second a character gets what they want … as writers we kind of want to tear it from their hands. There are going to be some ups and downs in both relationships, but I think both sets of fans are going to be pleased.

Jeremy’s offhand remark about having an inverted nipple was funny, but I wondered if that’s a way a writer instantly connects a character with an audience?
Oh yeah, definitely. When Jeremy says something like that yeah, it’s a funny line but it’s never a throwaway line. We always try to do a character building line with something like that. It tells us that, A) especially when Wynonna is talking to him he is so nervous that he just blurts stuff out; and B), for him to blurt out something so personal also shows just how innocent and vulnerable he is. That vulnerability makes us want, as an audience and as writers, to protect him in some ways. There are a lot of characters on the show who are going to want to protect Jeremy in some way. Of course, we’re going to learn that maybe he doesn’t always need protection. Maybe he has his own thing going on as well.

It was wonderful to see Dani Kind of Workin’ Moms guest-starring as Mercedes. Will she be around for more than one episode?
I have full confidence that we will see her again. She’s absolutely delicious.

And she gets Wynonna. There is no judgment.
Absolutely and I think Wynonna is so relieved to find somebody that can appreciate who she was back then. Mercedes was also cast out and now she’s back to kick butt in her own way.

What can you say about Rosita and Doc’s plan with regard to Shorty’s? Will that be a season-long arc or more short-term?
Every episode will reveal what Doc is doing there and the thing about Doc is that he’s not just a cute, funny guy in a moustache there to support the gang. He has his own stuff going on. He is a man who holds his cards close to the chest and while doing his best for the team is always very much thinking about what he can do for Doc as well.

What was going in with Waverly and that spider?
All I can say is, she is hungry. [Laughs.] There is something in her that is very hungry.

Can you give me a preview of next week’s episode, written by Brendan Yorke?
Yes, one word: cheerleading. We thought it would be really fun for Waverly to do a little cheerleading. I had no idea Dominque was once a dancer and boy oh boy, can you tell! It’s also a trope we’ve seen before of the sexy cheerleader but we’ve turned it on its head a little bit and a bit of a tip of the cheerleading skirt to the WayHaught fans.

What did you think of this episode? Let me know in the comments below.

Wynonna Earp airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on Space.

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